We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Crossing Brooklyn Ferry

Crossing Brooklyn Ferry


by Walt Whitman

Section 10 Summary

Get out the microscope, because we’re going through this poem line-by-line.

Lines 52-55

I loved well those cities,
I loved well the stately and rapid river,
The men and women I saw were all near to me,
Others the same—others who look back on me, because I looked forward to them,

  • There are some strange things going on with verb tenses in this poem. Now the speaker is talking about himself as if he were in the future with us.
  • He is, in essence, delivering his own eulogy.
  • He felt close to all the people he saw, and even to us future generations.

Line 56

(The time will come, though I stop here to-day and to-night.)

  • Here's a very mysterious line. "The time" for what will come?
  • He seems to be anticipating some time when he will be close to those future people, and the present moment is just a stopping place. In short, time is no obstacle to the speaker; he just chooses to be in the present.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...